Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo

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Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo
Pronounced: [-kunːuluːdʒuŋːo]
Timeline and Universe:
Species: Human
Spoken:
Total speakers:
Writing system: none (the speakers are illiterate; this article uses a transliteration using the Latin alphabet)
Genealogy:
Typology
Morphology: Agglutinative
Morphosyntax: Ergative
Word order: SOV
Credits
Creator: Qwynegold
Created: April 2010

Phonology

Phoneme inventory


Consonants
Bilabial Labiod. Alveolar Post-alv. Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/ /n/ /ŋ/
Plain Plosive /p/ [b] /t/ [d] /k/ [ɡ]
Aspirated Plosive /pʰ/ /tʰ/ /kʰ/
Fricative /f/ /s/ /z/ /ʃ/ /ʒ/ /h/
Affricate /ts/ /tʃ/ /dʒ/
Rhotic /*r/1
Lateral Approximant [l]

1The exact quality of the rhotic is unknown.

There are long/geminated versions of the consonants /n, p, t, k, s, r/ (/rː/ is phonetically [lː]) that are very common. The consonants /m, , , , f, ʃ, ts/ may also be long/geminated, but they are very rare. Geminated /ts/ has two contrastive realizations: /tsts/ and /tːs/.

Monophthongs
Front Back
High /i/ /y/ /u/ /uː/
Mid /e/ /ø/ /o/ /oː/
Low /ɑ/
Diphthongs
Front-Front Front-Back Back-Front Back-Back
High /jy/ /ju/ /juː/ /wi/ /wy/ /wuː/
Mid /je/ /jø/ /jo/ /joː/ /we/ /ue/ /wø/ /wo/
Opening Low /jɑ/ /wɑ/
Closing Low /ɑi/ /ɑu/

Allophony

  • The velar nasal is long if intervocalic, and short otherwise.
  • The short unvoiced plosives are voiced if intervocalic.
  • The liquid is a rhotic at the beginning of a word and before /w/, but [l] in other positions.
  • /jy/ and /jø/ only appear in a few suffixes as the counterparts of /jo/ resp. /joː/ due to vowel harmony.

Phonological constraints

The syllable structure of Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo is (O)V(C) where O is any consonant but /ŋ/, C is any consonant other than {/z, ʒ, h, ts, /}, and V is any single vowel or diphthong. /j/ and /w/ do not count as consonants, but as a part of a diphthong.

The geminated or long consonant can only appear intervocalically and it is bisyllabic. That is, the onset of the consonant belongs to the same syllable as the preceding vowel, while the release of the consonant belongs to the same syllable as the vowel following it.

Morphological processes

  • When a suffix that begins with a long consonant, a voiced plosive, or /z/ is added to a word that ends with a consonant, the initial consonant of the suffix becomes a short unvoiced consonant. For this reason, in the lists of suffixes in this article, the first consonant letter representing a long consonant is put in parenthesis (e.g. -(t)to). The voicing change is not indicated, however.
  • When two aspirated consonants are adjacent, or when a plain plosive is followed by its aspirated version, those two turn into a long aspirated plosive.
  • When a suffix changes the last vowel of a word, diphthongs count as one vowel. So for example the singular first person pronoun pot'ya with the ergative suffix -ak' is pot'ak' and not *pot'yak'. An exception is if the dipthong begins with /j/ or /w/ which is preceded by a vowel. In that case the /j/ or /w/ is retained.

Vowel harmony

Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo has front-back vowel harmony. In the list below front vowels have been marked with blue and back vowels with red. There are also neutral vowels, which are: /u, uː, ju, juː, wuː/ <u, ū, yu, yū, wū>. Each suffix is by default front or back (unless it is neutral), and if the suffix is attached to a word of the opposite affinity, the vowels in the suffix will change according to this list. (Note that not all vowels make matching pairs; for example the opposite of /ue/ is /wo/, but the opposite of /wo/ is /wø/).

  • /ɑ/ <a>/e/ <e>
  • /e/ <e>/ɑ/ <a>
  • /i/ <i> → /u/ <u>
  • /o/ <o>/ø/ <ö>
  • /oː/ <ō>/wy/ <wü>
  • /ø/ <ö>/o/ <o>
  • /y/ <ü> → /u/ <u>
  • /ɑi/ <ai>/i/ <i>
  • /ɑu/ <au>/i/ <i>
  • /ue/ <ue>/wo/ <wo>
  • /jɑ/ <ya>/je/ <ye>
  • /je/ <ye>/jɑ/ <ya>
  • /jo/ <yo>/jø/ <yö>
  • /joː/ <yō>/jy/ <yü>
  • /wɑ/ <wa>/we/ <we>
  • /we/ <we>/wɑ/ <wa>
  • /wi/ <wi>/wuː/ <wū>
  • /wo/ <wo>/wø/ <wö>
  • /wø/ <wö>/wo/ <wo>
  • /wy/ <wü>/oː/ <ō>

The red and blue marking is used consistently throughout this article, so that suffixes that go with back vowel words are marked with red and suffixes that go with front vowel words are marked with blue. Whenever there are two versions of a suffix, the one that is presented first is used with neutral words.

Writing

The speakers of Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo had no writing system. The language is transliterated in this article with the Latin alphabet, as shown below.

A a, B b, Ch ch, D d, E e, F f, G g, H h, I i, J j, K k, K' k', L l, M m, N n, Ng ng, O o, Ō ō, Ö ö, P p, P' p', R r, S s, Sh sh, T t, T' t', Ts ts, U u, Ū ū, Ü ü, W w, Y y, Z z, Zh zh

Letter Pronunciation
A a ɑ
B b b
Ch ch
D d d
E e e
F f f
G g ɡ
H h h
I i i
J j
K k k
K' k'
L l l
M m m
N n n
Ng ng ŋ
O o o
Ō ō
Ö ö ø
P p p
P' p'
R r *r
S s s
Sh sh ʃ
T t t
T' t'
Ts ts ts
U u u
Ū ū
Ü ü y
W w w
Y y j
Z z z
Zh zh ʒ

The voiced plosives and the lateral are represented in the romanization, even though they are not phonemic.

Long or geminated consonant are represented by doubling the consonant letter or digraph (so for example /kː/ is <kk> and /ʃː/ is <shsh>). But the apostrophe of the aspirated consonants is not duplicated (so for example /kʰː/ is <kk'>).

Grammar

Morphology

Verbs

There are two kinds of verbs in Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo, stative and dynamic. The stative verbs describe the state of something, for example mūzōng - be hungry, k'yokyak'ya - like, etc. Adjectives may also be zero-derived into verbs. These adjective-verbs are always stative.

Finite verbs

Voice and transitivity

In the following table, the affixes marked with blue go together with front vowel words, and the ones in red with back vowel words. If a word has only neutral vowels, the affix that stands first in the morphology column will be used.

Voice Morphology Example
Active transitive -∅ pot'ak' ubōtta p'yowochyang - I eat an apple
pot'ak' tallūda kweding - I hear a song
Active intransitive -(t)to
-(t)tö
pot'a p'yowochyattong - I eat
pot'a kwedittöng - I hear
Passive k'ūdi VERB-ttūk1 ubōtta pot'yat k'ūdi p'yowottūk - an apple becomes eaten by me
tallūda k'ūdi kwettūk - a song becomes heard
Causative -k'ye1
-k'ya1
pot'a myatto kwek'yeng - I make him hear
pot'ak' myatto ubōtta p'yowok'yang - I make him eat an apple
Passive-Causative k'ūdi VERB-ttūkk'ye1
k'ūdi VERB-ttūkk'ya1
***

1The last syllable of the verb is deleted before this suffix is added.

Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo has explicit marking of intransitive verbs, while transitive verbs are unmarked. The intransitive marker is deleted if any voice other than active is used on the given verb. See the sections Transitive sentences and Intransitive sentences for more details.

The passive voice has similar uses as in English. It shifts focus from the agent to the patient, and it is often used for indicating that someone did something to the patient without asking for consent, or even outright against the patient's will, or that the patient succumbed to a situation that was not brought on by any sentient being. Another use for the passive is for turning a transitive verb into an intransitive while demoting the agent. For example negefa is an inherently transitive verb which means "break". Using the passive voice is the only way to make it an intransitive verb with the meaning that something gets broken, because using intransitive marking would have the meaning that someone breaks something (without telling what that "something" is).

The causative voice is used for marking that someone makes, lets or somehow causes someone else to do something. It can also be used for turning an agent-less intransitive verb into one that takes an agent as its argument. For example the word satwatto means burn, as in "the wood is burning". To express that someone burns something, the causative voice would be used. This verb can be used either intransitively, i.e. without a patient, or transitively.

The passive-causative is simply a combination of the passive and causative voices.

Tense and aspect

Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo has arguably three basic tenses (past, present and habitual); while the other tenses (remote past, future, remote future) and the three aspects (progressive, perfect and frequentative) are expressed periphrastically, through reduplication or through a combination of conjugation, periphrastic means and reduplication.

Stative verbs can not take the habitual tense, or perfect or progressive aspects.

The following table displays allowed combinations of tenses and aspects. The AI marks the place for the active intransitive suffix, C for the causative suffix, and the M for mood suffixes, if there are any. In constructions involving auxiliary verbs, the place of the main verb is marked with VERB. The main verb will have the active infinitive form.

Combining the passive voice with these verb forms is a bit complicated, so see Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo conjugation tables for how it is expressed together with any tense or aspect.

Tense Aspect Morphology Example
Remote Past - -AI/C-oXo1-M
-AI/C-öXö1-M
kallololo - dug a long time ago
kwedödö - heard a long time ago
Past - -AI/C-o-M
-AI/C-ö-M
kallolo - dug
kwedö - heard
Present - -AI/C-ng-M kallorwang - digs
kweding - hears
Future - k'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C k'ūdi kallorwa - will dig
k'ūdi kwedi - will hear
Remote Future - k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C k'ūdik'ūdi kallorwa - will dig in the far future
k'ūdik'ūdi kwedi - will hear in the far future
Habitual - -AI/C-∅-M kallorwa - usually digs
kwedi - usually hears
Remote Past Progressive ut-AI-oXo1-M VERB-C-beppi2
ut-AI-oXo1-M VERB-C-bappu2
udodo kwebeppi - was hearing a long time ago
udodo kallobappu - was digging a long time ago
Past Progressive ut-AI-o-M VERB-C-beppi2
ut-AI-o-M VERB-C-bappu2
udo kwebeppi - was hearing
udo kallobappu - was digging
Present Progressive ut-AI-M VERB-C-beppi2
ut-AI-M VERB-C-bappu2
ut kwebeppi - is hearing
ut kallobappu - is digging
Future Progressive k'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-beppi2
k'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-bappu2
k'ūdi kwebeppi - will be hearing
k'ūdi kallobappu - will be digging
Remote Future Progressive k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-beppi2
k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-bappu2
k'ūdik'ūdi kwebeppi - will be hearing in the far future
k'ūdik'ūdi kallobappu - will be digging in the far future
Remote Past Perfect ut-AI-oXo1-M VERB-C-ttūk2 udodo kallottūk - had dug a long time ago
udodo kwettūk - had heard long ago
Past Perfect ut-AI-o-M VERB-C-ttūk2 udo kallottūk - had dug
udo kwettūk - had heard
Present Perfect ut-AI-(o)ng-M VERB-C-ttūk2 udong kallottūk - have dug
udong kwettūk - have heard
Future Perfect k'ūdi-AI-ng-M VERB-C-ttūk2 k'ūding kallottūk - will have dug
k'ūding kwettūk - will have heard
Remote Future Perfect k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-ng-M VERB-C-ttūk2 k'ūdik'ūding kallottūk - will have dug in the far future
k'ūdik'ūding kwettūk - will have heard in the far future
Habitual Perfect ut-AI-M VERB-C-ttūk2 ut kallottūk - have/had usually dug
ut kwettūk - have/had usually heard
Remote Past Frequentative -AI/C-dödö-M
-AI/C-dodo-M
kwedidödö - repeatedly heard things long ago
kallorwadodo - dug around long ago
Past Frequentative -AI/C--M
-AI/C-do-M
kwedidö - repeatedly heard things
kallorwado - dug around
Present Frequentative -AI/C-ding-M
-AI/C-dung-M
kwediding - repeatedly hear things
kallorwadung - dig around
Future Frequentative k'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-di
k'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-du
k'ūdi kwedidi - will hear things repeatedly
k'ūdi kallorwadu - will dig around
Remote Future Frequentative k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-di
k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-du
k'ūdik'ūdi kwedidi - will hear things repeatedly in the far future
k'ūdik'ūdi kallorwadu - will dig around in the far future
Habitual Frequentative -AI/C-di-M
-AI/C-du-M
kwedidi - usually hears things repeatedly
kallorwadu - usually digs around
Remote Past Progressive-Frequentative ut-AI-oXo1-M VERB-C-dibeppi
ut-AI-oXo1-M VERB-C-dubappu
udodo kwedidibeppi - was repeatedly hearing things long ago
udodo kallorwadubappu - was digging around long ago
Past Progressive-Frequentative ut-AI-o-M VERB-C-dibeppi
ut-AI-o-M VERB-C-dubappu
udo kwedidibeppi - was repeatedly hearing things
udo kallorwadubappu - was digging around
Present Progressive-Frequentative ut-AI-M VERB-C-dibeppi
ut-AI-M VERB-C-dubappu
ut kwedidibeppi - is repeatedly hearing things
ut kallorwadubappu - is digging around
Future Progressive-Frequentative k'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-dibeppi
k'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-dubappu
k'ūdi kwedidibeppi - will be hearing things repeatedly
k'ūdi kallorwadubappu - will be digging around
Remote Future Progressive-Frequentative k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-dibeppi
k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-dubappu
k'ūdik'ūdi kwedidibeppi - will be hearing things repeatedly in the future
k'ūdik'ūdi kallorwadubappu - will be digging around in the far future
Remote Past Perfect-Frequentative ut-AI-oXo1-M VERB-C-dittūk
ut-AI-oXo1-M VERB-C-duttūk
udodo kwedidittūk - has heard things repeatedly long ago
udodo kallorwaduttūk - has dug around long ago
Past Perfect-Frequentative ut-AI-o-M VERB-C-dittūk
ut-AI-o-M VERB-C-duttūk
udo kwedidittūk - has heard things repeatedly
udo kallorwaduttūk - has dug around
Present Perfect-Frequentative ut-AI-(o)ng-M VERB-C-dittūk
ut-AI-(o)ng-M VERB-C-duttūk
udong kwedidittūk - have heard things repeatedly
udong kallorwaduttūk - have dug around
Future Perfect-Frequentative k'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-dittūk
k'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-duttūk
k'ūdi kwedidittūk - will have heard things repeatedly
k'ūdi kallorwaduttūk - will have dug around
Remote Future Perfect-Frequentative k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-dittūk
k'ūdik'ūdi-AI-M VERB-C-duttūk
k'ūdik'ūdi kwedidittūk - will have heard things repeatedly in the far future
k'ūdik'ūdi kallorwaduttūk - will have dug around in the far future
Habitual Perfect-Frequentative ut-AI-M VERB-C-dittūk
ut-AI-M VERB-C-duttūk
ut kwedidittūk - have/had usually heard things repeatedly
ut kallorwaduttūk - have/had usually dug around

1The X stands for a consonant that is the same as the previous consonant in the word.
2The previous syllable is deleted before this suffix is added, unless the previous syllable is the causative suffix.

The habitual, which is used for expressing that someone does something on regular basis, cannot be used together with any tense. It is usually understood to mean present tense, but if need be, one can specify past meaning with the adverb öttöt (before), and future meaning with the adverb allogau (intends to).

The frequentative can have the meaning of just doing something repeatedly, or doing something repeatedly and in several locations. For example myosyak'yattodung can either mean "to jump around", or "to jump up and down at the same spot".

Mood
Mood Morphology Examples
Conditional -(o)ppo
-(ö)ppö
kallorwappo - would dig
kwedippö - would hear
Energetic -(s)sa
-(s)se
kallorwangsa - does dig too!
kwedingse - does hear too!
Hortative -wat
-wet
kallorwat - let's dig
kwetwet - let's hear
Imperative deletion of last syllable kallo - dig!
kwe - hear!
Optative -gaut
-git
kallorwagaut - may he/she dig
kwedigit - may he/she hear
Volitive -auk
-ik
kallolauk - let him/her dig then
kwedik - let it be heard then
Conditional-Energetic -(o)ppossa
-(ö)ppösse
kallorwappossa - I wish someone would dig
kwedippösse - I wish someone would hear
Hortative-Energetic -watsa
-wetse
kallorwatsa - let's dig!
kwetwetse - let's hear!
Imperative-Energetic deletion of last syllable + (s)sa
deletion of last syllable + (s)se
kallossa - you dig, allright?
kwesse - would you hear?
Optative-Energetic -gautsa
-gitse
kallorwagautsa - may he/she dig!
kwedigitse - may he/she hear!

The conditional is used for marking the "then" part of an "if...then" statement. But sometimes it is used on both the "if" and the "then" part simultaneously. The conditional can only be used together with the past and habitual tense. Any aspect together with past tense can be used however.

The energetic mood is used when expressing what oneself actually believes to be the case, despite of what anyone else thinks. It can be used together with any tense and aspect.

The hortative denotes the meaning of "let's". No tense or aspect, except for the frequentative, can be used with the hortative. It can be used with any voice, except for the passive-causative.

The imperative mood is used for making commands. It is not used together with any particular voice, tense or aspect, except that it can be used with the frequentative, in which case the present frequentative suffix is added after the last syllable of the verb has been deleted. The adressee, which is optional, can be put before the verb in the vocative case.

The optative can be used for expressing a wish in one of these cases:

  1. The wish is not up to any person to make come true, for example "may it not rain tomorrow".
  2. The wish is directed at someone who is not present and contactable at the time being, for example "may the king not raise the taxes again" said by someone who has never met, and probably never will meet, the king.
  3. The wish is dependent on a large group of people, like the society or mankind. As an example: "let's all work together to make the world a better place to live".

The optative can only be used together with the present and habitual tenses. Any aspect together with present tense is also allowed.

The volitive mood has two similar uses. One is used to express that one does not approve of, or like, the state of affairs, but reluctantly accepts it because nothing else can be done. The other use expresses that one does not really wish for something to happen, but lets it happen anyway because one cannot be bothered to do something about it. This mood can only be used together with the present simple, present progressive, present frequentative and habitual tenses.

The combination of the conditional and energetic moods has two different uses. One means that one wishes current things to be in a certain way instead of how they are now. The other use means that one wishes for something to happen; either wishing it very intently, or being hopeful or optimistic about it happening. This mood can be used with the same tenses and aspects as the simple conditional.

Combining the hortative mood with the energetic adds a persuasive tone to the proposal made. It can be used together with the same tenses and aspects as the simple hortative.

Using the combination of imperative and energetic is paradoxically more polite than using the imperative alone. In this case, the energetic mood makes the statement more of a suggestion than a command. The tenses it can used together with are the same as for the simple imperative.

Together with the optative, the energetic has simply a more intensifying meaning. This can be used with the same tenses and aspects as the simple optative.

Nonfinite verbs

Infinitives

In action nominal constructions, when the active form of any of the infinitives is used, any agent argument of that infinitive takes the genitive case and any patient argument gets either the genitive or the absolutive case (except for the deverbal noun where both arguments always get the genitive). With the passive forms of an infinitive, the patient gets the genitive case and the agent ablative case (including the deverbal noun).

In other kinds of constructions, the object of an infinitive gets absolutive case. For the simple infinitives, the object is placed before the finite verb. The deverbal nouns have other requirements though, see Deverbal nouns for the details.

Type of infinitive Morphology Example
Active Infinitive -∅ p'yowochya - to eat
kwedi - to hear
Passive Infinitive k'ūdi VERB-ūk'p'o
k'ūdi VERB-ūk'p'ö
k'ūdi p'yowochūk'p'o - to become eaten
k'ūdi kwedūk'p'ö - to become heard
Active Inessive infinitive -öppi
-oppu
kwedöppi - when hearing
p'yowochoppu - when eating
Passive Inessive infinitive -ūk'p'o k'ūdöppi
-ūk'p'ö k'ūdöppi
p'yowochūk'p'o k'ūdöppi - when becoming eaten
kwedūk'p'ö k'ūdöppi - when becoming heard
Active Instructive infinitive -ōt
-wüt
p'yowochōt - by eating
kwetwüt - by hearing
Passive Instructive infinitive -ūk'p'o k'ūtwüt
-ūk'p'ö k'ūtwüt
p'yowochūk'p'o k'ūtwüt - by becoming eaten
kwedūk'p'ö k'ūtwüt - by becoming heard
Active Adverb infinitive -ba1-C2
-be1-C2
p'yowobappu - in the middle of eating
kwebeppi - in the middle of hearing
Passive Adverb infinitive -būk'p'o1 k'ūbe-C2
-būk'p'ö1 k'ūbe-C2
p'yowobūk'p'o k'ūbeppi - in the middle of getting eaten
kwebūk'p'ö k'ūbeppi - in the middle of getting heard
Active Deverbal noun -bossan1
-bössen1
p'yowobossan - eating
kwebössen - hearing
Passive Deverbal noun -ūk'p'o k'ūbössen
-ūk'p'ö k'ūbössen
p'yowochūk'p'o k'ūbössen - getting eaten
kwedūk'p'ö k'ūbössen - getting heard

1The last syllable from the verb stem is deleted before this suffix is added.
2The C marks the place for an obligatory case suffix (see Adverb infinitives).

Simple infinitives

The simple infinitive is used as an oblique of another verb. For example:

Pot'-ak' k'yamk'ottōtk'-a madūkka-∅-ng t'yamchya-∅
1SG-ERG shooting.star-ABS want-ACT.TR-PRES see-INF
I want to see a shooting star.
Inessive infinitives

The inessive infinitive has the meaning of "when someone is doing something"; it is used as a time reference.

Pot'ya-t pōkp'ya-ppu küllöd-öppi p'adab-a swe-nnet opkōya-tt-o
1SG-GEN forest-INE walk-ACT.INE.INF lightning-ABS tree-ILL strike-INTR-PAST
When I was walking in the forest, lightning struck a tree.
Instructive infinitives

The instructive infinitive describes in what manner something happens. For example:

Myod-a pingketti-dö p'utsūk'-ōt pöttü-tt-ö
3SG-ABS market-ALL row-INSTR.INF go-INTR-PAST
He went to the market by rowing.
Adverb infinitives

The adverb infinitive requires a case (marked with C in the table). It has different meanings depending on the case used. Without a following case suffix, the suffix -ba/be makes a passive agent participle. The table below shows all cases that can be combined with the adverb infinitive.

Case Example
Abessive kallobakku - without digging
Exessive kallobatk'a - from having been digging
Inessive kallobappu - in the middle of digging
Instrumental kallobōp' - by digging
Translative kallobak'p'o - to go digging

The exessive and translative are used for expressing that someone goes from one activity to another, with the exessive corresponding to the from part, and the translative to the to part. For example:

Pot'-a opk'ū-ba-tk'a p'ōnoppu-ba-nnat pöttü-tt-ö
1SG-ABS sit-ADV.INF-EXE stand-ADV.INF-TRANSL go-INTR-PAST
I went from sitting to standing.

The difference between the inessive infinitive and the inessive adverb infinitive is that the inessive infinitive can be used for comparing two situations in time: "when doing X, Y happened"; while the inessive adverb infinitive cannot be used that way. A single verb in the inessive adverb infinitive form can be used as an answer to the question where someone is. For example:

-Peppü op'a udittöng? (Where is dad?)
-Kadappappu. (Out fishing.)

The inessive adverb infinitive together with the auxiliary ut makes the progressive aspect.

Deverbal nouns

This form derives the name of the act of doing something. The difference between deverbal nouns and the simple infinitives is that the simple infinitives are used as objects while deverbal nouns are used as subjects. Deverbal nouns function just like normal nouns and can therefore take any case, or even the plural suffix when referring to several instances of some act. If the deverbal noun has an object argument, it gets the genitive case. So for example "the eating of food" would be nūjugat p'yowobossan.

Participles
Participle Morphology Example
Active past participle -ttūk1 p'yowottūk sutsoga - boy who has eaten
kwettūk k'wik'wö - girl who has heard
Passive past participle -k'p'o k'ūttūk
-k'p'ö k'ūttūk
p'yowochyak'p'o k'ūttūk nūjuga - food that is eaten
kwedik'p'ö k'ūttūk hūjungū - gossip that is heard
Active present participle -lla1
-lle1
p'yowolla sutsoga - boy who is eating
kwelle k'wik'wö - girl who is hearing
Passive present participle -k'p'o k'ūlle
-k'p'ö k'ūlle
p'yowochyak'p'o k'ūlle nūjuga - food that is being eaten
kwedik'p'ö k'ūlle hūjungū - gossip that is being heard
Active agent participle
Passive agent participle -ba1
-be1
sutsogat p'yowoba nūjuga - food eaten by the boy
k'wik'wöt kwebe hūjungū - gossip heard by the girl

1The last syllable from the verb stem is deleted before this suffix is added.

When a verb is used for describing a noun the way adjectives are used, the verb takes a participle form. There are only two tenses, past and present. There are active participles, describing an agent, and passive participles, describing a patient. Causative voice can also be used. In that case, the causative suffix is added before the participle suffix as follows:

K'yapya ōppok'yob-ak' t'ūgū-k'ye-lle ud-∅-ong
this show-ERG sleep-CAUS-ACT.PRES.PTC be-TR-PRES
This show is sleep-inducing.

The active past participle and the active present participle can take an object, and the passive present participle and the passive agent participle can take a subject, all of which are marked with the genitive case. For the passive agent participle the agent argument is obligatory. The subject or object is placed right before the participle.

The agent participle is similar to the passive past participle, but the difference is that the past passive participle does not take a subject. If a noun (or pronoun) with genitive case is placed before the passive past participle, it means that the object described by the participle belongs to the person or thing marked by the genitive case. While for the agent participle, the genitive marks who the action has been done by.

The noun following a participle can have any case. If a core case is used, which one is used is governed by the finite verb's voice. The participle itself can be used as the object of the copula, as in the above example sentence. The copula will be marked as an active voice transitive and the subject will be marked as ergative, but no absolutive case will be present.

Nouns

Number

The singular form of nouns is unmarked, while the plural is marked with the suffix -k. If the noun ends with a consonant, a vowel is inserted before the -k suffix. Usually the vowel will be ō or depending on vowel harmony, but there are many irregular plurals that will use o, ö or as the linking vowel instead. In san words, final -san becomes -sōk and -sen becomes -swük.

Case

The final -n is deleted from san words before the case suffix is added.

Case Suffix Examples
Core cases
Ergative -ak'
-ek'
kutsongak' - dog-ERG
keppek' - cat-ERG
Absolutive -a
-e
kutsonga - dog-NA
keppe - cat-NA
Adpositional cases
Distributive -k'illet
-k'ullat
keppik'illet - each cat separately
syazolyak'ullat - every day
Distributive-Temporal -oppot
-öppöt
syazoloppot - at daytime
sigissöppöt - during frost
Essive -tta
-tte
kutsongatta - as a dog
keppitte - as a cat
Genitive -t kutsongat - dog's
keppit - cat's
Instrumental -ōp'
-wüp'
rappangōp' - with a hammer
köswüp' - with a stick
Prolative -kp'ō
-kp'wü
pōngokp'ō - by sea
kikkukp'wü - by rooftop
Locational cases
Ablative -(ō)t'k'ya
-(wü)t'k'ye
pōngot'k'ya - from the sea
kikkut'k'ye - from the roof
Elative -pk'a
-pk'e
kutsongapk'a - from the inside of the dog
kikkupk'e - from inside the rooftop
Exessive -tk'a
-tk'e
kutsongatk'a - (turn) from a dog (into something else)
keppitk'e - (turn) from a cat (into something else)
Adessive -di
-du
kikkudi - on the roof
pōngodu - by the sea
Inessive -ppi
-ppu
kikkuppi - in the roof
pōngoppu - in the sea
Allative -
-do
kikkudö - to the roof
pōngodo - to the sea
Illative -(nn)at
-(nn)et
pōngonnat - into the sea
kikkunnet - into the roof
Translative -k'p'o
-k'p'ö
kutsongak'p'o - (turn) into a dog
keppik'p'ö - (turn) into a cat
Comitative -ttō
-twü
kutsongattō - (together) with his/her dog
keppitwü - (together) with his/her cat
Other
Abessive -kki
-kku
kössekki - without a stick
rappangakku - without a hammer
Vocative -∅ kutsonga - hey you dog!
keppi - hey you cat!
Adpositional cases

If the distributive case is used together with a word that stands for some kind of time period, it has the meaning that something is done during each of those periods. If used with any other kind of noun, it has the meaning of each of those separately. For example the sentence k'yapya k'yowo k'ōm sangok'ullat means "do this assignment in pairs", where the word for pair (sango) carries the distributive case. The distributive case can not be used with pronouns.

The distributive-temporal case is only used together with words relating to time. It has the meaning that something is done during that time, but unlike the simple distributive case it doesn't necessarily mean that it is done during every such time period.

The essive case has the meaning of "as" or "if". For example kyot'pyatta syazolyatta sidöding - during a cold day one freezes (or "if there is a cold day one freezes"), or nogapwatta ōno k'yowopk'yudappo - as a rich man I would not do work.

The genitive case is used for marking possession (with the possessive preceding the head noun), as well as for marking the agent in passive sentences. If the genitive case is used on a word that ends with a consonant, a vowel is inserted before the suffix. This is the same vowel as the one used in the plural form.

The instrumental tells that something is used as a tool. It cannot be used with personal pronouns or animate nouns. If need be, the pronoun or animate noun can be given the absolutive case, followed by the word küwikkōt (use-INSTR.INF).

The prolative tells "by which medium or route". For example rōtta hugokp'ō kūt'kōnang - the boat travels by river. It cannot be used with pronouns or animate nouns.

Locational cases

The ablative has the meaning of "from the vicinity or topside of something". The elative on the other hand means "from the inside of something". The elative has two other uses as well. When used on a time noun it means "from that time onwards". The other use is for expressing what someone feels; the person who is feeling gets the elative case.

The adessive has the meaning of "by, near or on top of something". The inessive means "inside something". Both the adessive and inessive can be used together with a time noun to indicate when something happened or will happen. The difference is that the adessive is used when the action stretches out during the whole time period, while the inessive is used about things that happened sometime during that time period.

The allative has the meaning of "to the vicinity or topside of something", while the illative has the meaning "to the inside of something". The illative can also be used with a time noun to indicate "until a certain time".

The "inside" meaning of the internal locatives (elative, inessive and illative) is also applied to objects that somehow cover something else (even if only partially). For example, when describing someone sitting on a chair, one of the internal locatives would be used because a chair has a back support, so the person sitting in it would have his or her back covered. A stool on the other hand does not have any part that covers a person, so one of the external locatives (ablative, adessive or allative) would be used. The external locatives are also used when describing possession of items or the transaction of items between people. The people involved are then marked with external locatives.

The exessive and translative cases describe either that something turns into something else, or that something changes from one state into another. The exessive is the source and the translative is the result. The exessive can also be used to descibe what something is made of.

Other cases

The abessive case has the meaning of "without". It cannot be used with personal pronouns or nouns standing for humanoid beings. Instead the preposition ot'pat is used, followed by the given noun or pronoun in essive case.

The vocative case is used when addressing someone by their name or title, and also when calling someone a rude word. The word with the vocative case can be placed either at the beginning or end of the sentence.

Pronouns

Personal Pronouns

Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo has a three-way distinction of person in its personal pronouns, but no gender distinction.

1st person 2nd person 3rd person Interrogative
Singular pot'ya
I
p'ot'ya
you
myat
he/she
kūga
who
Plural
we
k'ō
you

they
kōkkya
who

In the daughter languages of Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo the second person pronouns are avoided for politeness, and instead the addressee's name or title is used. In Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo, at least the singular second person pronoun was avoided, but it is unclear if it was because of politeness reasons or because it was so similar to the singular first person pronoun. If the plural second person pronoun was also avoided is unknown.

Demonstrative Pronouns

1st person 2nd person 3rd person Interrogative Interrogative dual
Singular k'yapya
this
k'ūju
that
p'ō
that/it
pokya
what
kūp'so
which
Plural t'yapya
these
t'ūju
those
t'ō
those/they
pokkya
which
kūp'sok
which ones

The demonstrative pronouns refer to inanimate things and non-humanoid beings, except for the singular interrogative dual which can also be used about humanoids. The demonstrative pronouns can also be used as demonstrative determiners. The interrogative dual has the meaning of "which one (of two alternatives)". Kūp'sok is used when referring to two groups of things.

Relative Pronouns

There are two relative pronouns: huga, which refers to the preceding word (or noun preceding numeral); and pokya, which refers to the preceding clause or sentence. If a relative pronoun is used without the thing it refers to having been explicitly mentioned, then huga will be used if the implicit thing is animate, and pokya if it is inanimate. For example:

Myat-ōt op'-a atk'wa-tto-∅, myad-ak' pog-a syuk'yu-∅
3SG-GEN father-ABS give-INTR-HAB 3SG-ERG what-ABS ask.for-HAB
Her father gives her what she asks for.

The relative pronoun gets the same number as the thing it refers to, and whichever case is required in the position the relative pronoun appears in. Unless the relative pronoun appears without something it refers to, as in the above example, it is moved to the beginning of the relative clause.

Reciprocal Pronoun

The reciprocal pronoun is k'utsossan (k'utsossa in absolutive case and k'utsossōt in the genitive). Below are examples of the word in both cases.

M-ak' k'utsoss-a nagapk'wa-ng
3PL-ERG each.other-ABS love-PRES
They love each other.
M-ak' k'utsoss-ōt mofūb-ōg-a tōnogakk-o
3PL-ERG each.other-GEN hair-PL-ABS cut-PAST
They cut each other's hair.

Reflexive Pronoun

The reflexive pronoun is okp'ō.

Pot'-ak' okp'-a sōpk'-o
1SG-ERG self-ABS wash-PAST
I washed myself.

The reflexive pronoun can also be used for emphasis, in which case it is placed after the verb.

Pot'-ak' p'-a k'ōmchya-ng okp'ō
1SG-ERG it-ABS do-PRES self
I'll do it myself!

Quantifier Pronouns

Inclusive Exclusive Universal Negative
Singular humanoid kūga k'annatp'a
anyone
hugū
someone
killege
everyone
ōno kūkyut
no one
Plural humanoid kōkkya k'annatp'a
anyone
hukkūk
some
ōno kōkkyut
no one
Dual kūp'so k'annatp'a
either one
hup'sogūp'so
either or
pudöbik
both
ōno kūp'sokyut
neither
Singular inanimate pokya k'annatp'a
anything/any
hugot
something/some
killege
everything/all
ōno pokyut
nothing/no
Plural inanimate pokkya k'annatp'a
any
hukkot
some
ōno pokkyut
no

The singular inanimates can also be used as determiners. The plural inanimates can only be used as determiners. See also Quantifier adverbs for more quantifiers.

Adjectives

San adjectives declinate slightly differently than other adjectives, as the final -an or -en is deleted from san adjectives before comparison suffixes are added. The following table displays both types of declination.

Comparison Suffix Example
San adjectives
Positive -∅ pyowomyazossan - late
negettüzessen - broken
Comparative -ōp'so
-wüp'sö
pyowomyazossōp'so - later
negettüzesswüp'sö - more broken
Superlative -ot
-öt
pyowomyazossot - latest
negettüzessöt - most broken
Other adjectives
Positive -∅ mochap - slow
kūbi - odd
Comparative -p'so1
-p'sö
mochap'so - slower
kūbip'sö - odder
Superlative -tsot1
-tsöt
mochatsot - slowest
kūbitsöt - oddest

1If the adjective ends with p, the p is deleted before this suffix is added. (There are only front vowel adjectives that end with p.)

Epithets

Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo has a special part of speech called epithets. Epithets are words that precede proper nouns and define what kind of thing that proper noun is. Epithets are mostly used with people's names and names of geographical locations. They function differently from nouns and adjectives because epithets do not inflect, they cannot be used predicatively and epithets only modify proper nouns while adjectives only modify common nouns.

A few epithets are identical to the corresponding noun and some are closely related to the corresponding noun. Others have been derived from other nouns, some are words that used to be nouns but have ceased to be used as such, and some are words borrowed from other languages.

The use of epithets is not obligatory, especially not in full sentences. Though, when it comes to people's names, using an epithet is a sign of respect, so when speaking in the presence of someone one does not know intimately, they are almost always used together with that person's name.

Shorthand translation of epithet Epithet Description
Bachelor hyakkya Signifies the name of an unmarried man (surname, or given name, or surname followed by given name)
Bay Used before the name of a bay, bight or gulf
Beach zyōkp'o Used before the name of a beach
Bridge p'ot'k'a Used before the name of a bridge. This is the same word as the noun for bridge.
Cape kash Used before the name of a cape
City Used before the name of a town or city
Coast fupk'a The name of a coastline
Delta chōt'k'a Used before the name of a delta or mouth of a river. Usually a river and its delta or mouth will have the same name, but different epithets are used depending on which part one is talking about.
Doctor k'umk'ungo Used before a doctor's name (surname or surname followed by given name)
Ford kamtai Used before the name of a ford
Forest p'adu Used before the name of a forest (standard)
kungso Used before the name of a forest (dialectal)
God hūbat' Signifies the name of a deity
Highland yotyapwa Used before the name of a highland or elevated tableland
Hill kūp'sū Used before the name of a hill
Island wo Used before the name of an island
Island chain angkossōtwafo Used before the name of an island chain, a group of islands or an archipelago
King nōsh Signifies the name of a king
Lake hyanglo Used before the name of a lake. This is the same word as the noun for lake.
Land kutk'ū Used before the name of a piece of land, a country or a region
Lowland adapwa Used before the name of a lowland area
Miss t'ōnokko Signifies the name of an unmarried woman (surname, or given name, or surname followed by given name)
Mister möngi Signifies the name of a married man (surname, or given name, or surname followed by given name)
Mistress nutsūlla Signifies the name of a married woman (surname, or given name, or surname followed by given name)
Mountain Used before the name of a mountain or peak
Mountain range k'ūtk'ūngo Used before the name of a mountain range
Pass kūt'kū Used before the name of a mountain pass
Peninsula kofōdo Used before the name of a peninsula
Plateau Used before the name of a plateau of undefined height (see also lowland (adapwa) and highland (yotyapwa))
Pond tap'so Used before the name of a pond or spring
Queen igi Signifies the name of a queen
Rapids zhungp'i Used before the name of some rapids
River nofu Used before the name of a river
Road rofa Used before the name of a road or street
Sea ūdissi Used before the name of a sea
Ship adūp Signifies the name of a ship or boat
Straight kat'wado Used before the name of a straight or sound
Stream rongk'a Used before the name of a stream, creek or brook
Swamp nyabō Used before the name of a swamp, marsh, bog or quagmire
Town drunk hūjussu Used before the name of a drunkard with low status in the society (surname, or given name, or surname followed by given name). This usage is rude, and these people would rather prefer to be called by the epithet möngi or hyakkya.
Valley p'uda Used before the name of a valley
Village sok'yahya Used before the name of a village or settlement
Yard sonna Signifies the name of a courtyard or farmyard, or signifies the house on that plot

Adverbs

Below are listed adverbs that are related to the pronouns, in such a way that there is a person distinction among them as well as interrogative forms (allthough some of them distinguish fewer than three persons), and that some of them are somehow derived from the pronouns (cf. the locational adverbs with the demonstrative pronouns).

1st person 2nd person 3rd person Interrogative
Locational k'ue-
here
k'ūju-
there
p'e-
there
po-
where
Temporal t'yok
now
p'edutset
then
podutsat
when
Manner t'yazot
this way
t'utsot
that way
pokkōt
how
Reason p'ok'p'o
therefore
pok'p'o
why

These locational adverbs are obligatorily combined with a one of the locational cases ablative, adessive, allative, elative, inessive or illative.

Quantifier adverbs

Inclusive Exclusive Universal Negative
Locative poppu k'annatp'a
anywhere
huppiget
somewhere
killegedi
everywhere
ōno popkyut
nowhere
Temporal podutsat k'annatp'a
anytime
hupkūp
sometime
allotta
all the time
ōno kupkyut
never
Manner pokkōt k'annatp'a
any way
hukkōtkot
somehow
huga k'assōp'
every way
ōno pokkōtkyut
no way

Adpositions

There are several postposition, a few ambipositions (adpositions that can appear either before or after the noun it modifies) and even fewer prepositions in Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo. The words that are solely postpositions require the preceding noun to have genitive case. The tables in the following sections use the word k'adu (house), and in some cases op'ya (father), as an example together with the adpositions.

Postpositions

Motion to Being at a location Motion away Motion across
k'adut adado
under the house
k'adut adadu
under the house
k'adut adat'k'ya
from underneath the house
k'adut adakp'ō
underneath the house
k'adut kōpkodo
to the middle of the house
k'adut kōpkodu
in the middle of the house
k'adut kōpkot'k'ya
from the middle of the house
k'adut kōpkokp'ō
across the middle of the house
k'adut k'agado
behind the house
k'adut k'agadu
behind the house
k'adut k'agat'k'ya
from behind the house
k'adut k'agakp'ō
across the back of the house
k'adut ōkkūdo
in front of the house
k'adut ōkkūdu
in front of the house
k'adut ōkkūt'k'ya
from front of the house
k'adut ōkkūkp'ō
across the front of the house
k'adut p'ollūdo
beside the house
k'adut p'ollūdu
beside the house
k'adut p'ollūt'k'ya
from beside the house
k'adut p'ollūkp'ō
past the side of the house
k'adut p'op'yannat
into the house
k'adut p'op'yappu
inside the house
k'adut p'op'yapk'a
from the inside of the house
- (tyassokp'ō is used instead, see the list further down this section)
k'adut rofōngōdo
beside the house
k'adut rofōngōdu
beside the house
k'adut rofōngōt'k'ya
from beside the house
-
op'yat tūjudo
to father's home/vicinity
op'yat tūjudu
at father's home/vicinity
op'yat tūjut'k'ya
from father's home/vicinity
-
k'adut tyannodo
near the house
k'adut tyannodu
near the house
k'adut tyannot'k'ya
from near the house / something passes by close to the house
k'adut yotyado
on top of the house / above the house
k'adut yotyadu
on top of the house / above the house
k'adut yotyat'k'ya
from the top of the house / from above the house
k'adut yotyakp'ō
over the house

The difference between p'ollū- and rofōngō- is that p'ollū- denotes the flank or the location immediately next to something, while rofōngō- denotes a wider area. So for example sa ut k'adut rofōngōdu (the tree is beside the house) could be said even if there is some third object between the house and the tree, making it impossible to see the house from where the tree is. Sa ut k'adut p'ollūdu means that "the tree is right next to the house". K'adut p'ollūdu can also mean "on the wall (flank) of the house". Though p'ollū- and rofōngō- are synonymous to many speakers.

The tūju- postpositions can only be used in reference to an animate being. They can either have the meaning of near that person, or that person's home (whether or not s/he is home).

The tyanno- postpositions can also be used as adverbs (without any preceding noun).

The following invariant postpositions also exist:

  • hyat'kodu - after (locational)
  • hyat'koppu - after (temporal)
  • ippöpyette - in someone's place
  • killūkki - via
  • k'agofa - for someone's sake; because of
  • rangk'ōt1 - for a purpose
  • sūjudopk'a - on behalf of somebody
  • tyassokp'ō - through
  • unnokp'ō - past (locational)
  • yop'syongo - around (only one lap, see also Prepositions)

1This postposition requires the noun to have the exessive case instead of genitive.

Ambipositions

The following table shows all ambipositions as well as the cases they call for in the nouns they modify.

Ambiposition Case of noun
kumk'o - toward Allative
kutk'yunga - against Essive
rapk'ōt - against Any external locative
rapk'wat - toward; versus Allative
sokkot - along Any external locative

The difference between kumk'o and rapk'wat is that rapk'wat is only used about something moving towards a person. Kumk'o is used either about someone or something moving towards some inanimate object or place, about someone moving with malicious intent toward some person, or about something capable of causing injury moving towards a person. Rapk'wat can not have any of these meanings. Rapk'wat is usually used about a person moving toward someone else to greet that person, or for describing who or what one has met during one's way. With these meanings, rapk'wat can also be used as an adverb modifying an inessive infinitive. Paradoxically, one other use for rapk'wat is like the word "versus" in a battle (possibly because a sports battle is entered with both parties' consent, while battles in war are meant to be fought with a code of honour).

The difference between kutk'yunga and rapk'ōt is that rapk'ōt is used for describing the position of some object, usually together with verbs with meanings similar to "lean". Kutk'yunga on the other hand is used about someone or something being against someone else's order or will.

Prepositions

Preposition Case of noun
ot'pat - without Essive
öttöt - before Essive or illative
yop'syongo - around (several laps) Adessive

Ot'pat can only be used together with pronouns or nouns standing for humanoid beings.

Öttöt (which can also be used as an adverb) calls for the illative case on time nouns or other nouns that denote a specific time, and otherwise essive. See examples below.

Pot'-a mōnyak'ya-tt-o öttöt allūngotkut-t'uptūgu-nnat
1SG-ABS wake.up-INTR-PAST before sun-rise-ILL
I woke up before sunrise.
P'ot'-a k'ūdi-tt-o kukko-nnat öttöt pot'ya-tk'a
2SG-ABS come-INTR-PAST home-ILL before 1SG-ESS
You came home before me.

Yop'syongo is used like preposition when talking about something that goes several turns around. If talking about something that makes only one turn, it is used like a postposition.

Numerals

Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo has a decimal system. The numbers 11-19 are expressed by adding the suffix -k'utsossan to one of the numbers 1-9. Higher numbers are expressed simply by placing the name of one of the numbers 2-9 before the name of one of the numbers 10, 100, 1000 or 10 000. For example, 20 is called kak'p'o-kwibössen and 317 is called kut'pō-p'akka-kwibössen-p'ōnokp'ōpyat.

Number Cardinal Numeral Ordinal Numeral Distributive
1 yok'p'o ōtp'obuzassan yok'p'ok'ullat
2 kak'p'o k'utsossan kak'p'ok'ullat
3 kut'pō kut'pap kut'pōk'ullat
4 t'ōt'hya t'ōt'hyap t'ōt'hyak'ullat
5 ryōppo ryōppap ryōppok'ullat
6 kaippo kaippap kaippok'ullat
7 p'ōnokp'ōpyat p'ōnokp'ōpyap p'ōnokp'ōpyatk'ullat
8 kamchōk'p'at kamchōk'p'ap kamchōk'p'atk'ullat
9 yomchōk'p'yat yomchōk'p'yap yomchōk'p'yatk'ullat
10 kwibössen1 kwibössep kwibössek'ullat
100 p'akka p'akkap p'akkak'ullat
1000 k'ūnnak k'ūnnap k'ūnnakk'ullat
10 000 pyongofacho pyongofachap pyongofachok'ullat
Interrogative putk'a(gu) puttōp(ku) puttok'ullat(ku)

1The -ssen suffix is deleted when a numeral classifier is added.

The cardinal numerals are like one, two, three, while the ordinal numerals are like first, second, third. The distributive numerals are used for expressing how many parts something should be divided into. These are indeed the same as the cardinal numbers with the distributive case. The interrogative number is used when asking questions that include "how many...", and also as a relative pronoun. Interrogative numerals are always used with the interrogative clitic -ku, which is placed after any numeral classifier.

Numeral Classifiers

Normally numerals are used together with a classifier suffix. Different suffixes are used depending on what is counted. So for example two carrots would be called kak'p'ohaingo sungkitti while two rocks would be called kak'p'opwomkyonya kollo (sungkitti meaning carrot and kollo rock).

The classifier is used regardless if the numeral is used for modifying a noun or if it is used predicatively. The noun can even be dropped if it is clear from context and the classifier what is being referred to. If just counting numbers, then no classifier is used.

Below is a list of classifiers. Since there are no neutral vowel numerals, the suffixes are simply presented with back vowel suffixes first and front vowel suffixes second.

Shorthand name Suffix Use
Abstract -tsya
-tsye
Abstract things; also used when one does not know what other classifier to use
Age -(p)pallo
-ppellö
Years of age of people and things
Animals -ukkūp Animals that do not fall under any of the other categories
Birds -(t)tugu
-ttugi
Birds and bats
Bottles -syūdu Bottles and beverages stored in bottles
Bugs -bakku
-bekku
Small animals such as insects, worms and amphibians
Buildings -gukku
-gikku
Buildings
Bundles -(t)tassū
-ttessū
Bundles and bunches of things
Canines -(n)nūgu
-nnūgi
Dogs and wolves
Cattle -(p)panglōgap
-ppengrwügep
Livestock (excluding poultry)
Children -gaknap
-geknep
Children of humanoid creatures
Clothes -(k)kabottō
-kkebötwü
Clothes worn on the body, including shawls and scarfs but excluding other accessories
Collective -k1 Groups or things that consist of several parts
Containers -(p)patku
-ppetku
Containers other than bottles
Eggs -uk'
-ük'
Eggs, excluding roe and spawn
Fish -zhoppū
-zhöppū
Caught fish
Flat -dallūjō
-dellūjwü
Flat objects made of unflexible material; places
Fruit -(n)nōllo
-nwüllö
Fruit, berries, nuts and vegetables other than root vegetables
Horses -(n)nossu
-nnössi
Horses
Large -hyangkyadō
-hyengkyetwü
Large object, e.g. mountains, sun, moon
Layers -gongup
-göngup
Floors and layers
Machine -guhō
-guhwü
Machines and vehicles
Marine -ōlyakyap
-wülyekyep
Sea creatures (not caught)
Motion -llofūm
-llöfūm
Words for movements, especially nominalized motion verbs
Multiplicative -gōngk'a
-kwüngk'e
Number of times something is done
Oblong -swokkwo
-swökkwö
Long and narrow objects, excluding those things that go into the pipes category
Pairs -(s)sango
-ssengö
Pairs of things, as well as objects that consist of two similar parts
People -kyu Humanoid creatures other than children (standard)
-syu Humanoid creatures other than children (dialectal)
Piles -gūgūngu
-gūgūngi
Piles and heaps of things and materials
Pipes -nwowongo
-nwöwöngö
Hollow, oblong things
Root vegetables -haingo
-hingö
Root vegetables and bulbs
Round -pwomkyonya
-pwömkyönye
Small round objects
Seafood -gada
-gede
Sea creatures other than fish that has been caught
Sheets -ungka
-ingke
Flat objects made of flexible material, like paper or fabric
Small -ō
-
Small non-round items
Strands -noshp'o
-nöshp'ö
Very thin and oblong things, e.g. strands of hair, rivers
Strings -gōnya
-kwünye
Strings, threads, ropes, etc.
Substance -kwogwo
-kwögwö
Things that consist of liquid, a mushy substance or fine powder
Trees -(k)kūga
-kkūge
Trees, excluding bushes
Void -ubu
-ibu
Holes, hollows and negative spaces
Wood -gudagu
-gidegi
Pieces of wood and items made from cut wood

1The final consonant is deleted from p'ōnokp'ōpyat, kamchōk'p'at and yomchōk'p'yat when this suffix is added. Kwibössen becomes kwibössek and k'ūnnak becomes k'ūnnagōk.

Syntax

Transitive sentences

In transitive sentences, the subject takes ergative case and the object absolutive if the active or causative voice is used.

Pot'-ak' ubōtt-a p'yowochya-∅-ng
1SG-ERG apple-ABS eat-ACT.TR-PRES
I eat an apple.

In causative sentences, the person who is caused to do something gets the allative case. This person goes between the subject and the direct object. The causer, causee and direct object are all optional, but at least one of the three must be present in a given sentence.

Pot'-ak' myat-to tallūd-a kwe-k'ye-ng
1SG-ERG 3SG-ALL song-ABS hear-CAUS-PRES
I make him hear a song.

In passive sentences, the agent, which is optional, comes between the patient and verb. The patient gets absolutive case and the agent genitive.

Ubōtt-a pot'ya-t k'ūd-e p'yowo-ttūk
apple-ABS 1SG-GEN PASS-PAST eat-PASS
The apple got eaten by me.

Intransitive sentences

In intransitive sentences the subject or object gets the absolutive case. Verbs that are inherently intransitive may not take active transitive marking, but verbs that are inherently transitive may take the active intransitive marker. This functions like antipassive voice; it deletes the patient argument.

Pot'-a p'yowochya-tto-ng
1SG-ABS eat-ACT.INTR-PRES
I eat.

The same rules apply for the causative as in transitive sentences.

Pot'-a myat-to p'yowo-k'ya-ng
1SG-ABS 3SG-ALL eat-CAUS-PRES
I make him eat.

Some verbs which are inherently intransitive take an agent argument, while others take a patient argument. Those verbs that take a patient argument can be made transitive with the use of the causative voice.

Pot'-ak' rōppo-do k'ūdi hyuk'yo-k'ya
1SG-ERG water-ALL FUT freeze-CAUS
I will freeze the water.

Interrogative sentences

Questions are made by either using a question word, which is moved to the beginning of the sentence, or by adding the interrogative suffix -gu to the word that is questioned. A word with the interrogative suffix is also moved to the beginning of the sentence.

Pog-a p'ot'-ak' p'wach-o
what-ABS you-ERG get-PAST
What did you get?
Ut-to-gu kyot'sōya-ng p'ot'-a
PERF-INTR-Q bathe-PRES you-ABS
Have you bathed?

Negation

Negation is done with the negative auxiliary verb ōno. The verb that is negated get the simple infinitive form and is placed directly after ōno, with ōno taking all the conjugation; unless there is need to use the habitual tense or perfect or progressive aspect, in which case the negated verb is conjugated normally and ōno is placed before that verb without any marking.

The ōno that precedes the negative pronouns is removed when these words are used in negative sentences.

Comparative constructions

To make comparative constructions involving a noun, such as "X is more ADJ than what Y is", Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo uses the form X-ABS ADJ-COMP kūjot Y-ABS. For example:

K'yapya k'ad-a oppu-p'so kūjot p'-a
this house-ABS big-COMP than that.3SG-ABS
This house is bigger than that one.

If it is a verb that is compared instead of an adjective, the following construction is used: X (OBJ-ABS) V öttöbüt kūjot Y (or X (OBJ-ABS) öttöbüt V kūjot Y). The cases of X and Y depend on the transitivity of the verb, and if Y is an agent or patient. See the following two sentences:

P'ot'-ak' p'ofōbōd-a p'yowochya-∅ öttöbüt kūjot totk'-ak'
2SG-ERG seed-ABS eat-HAB more than bird-ERG
You eat more seeds than what birds do.
P'ot'-ak' p'ofōbōd-a p'yowochya-∅ öttöbüt kūjot totk'ū-g-a
2SG-ERG seed-ABS eat-HAB more than bird-PL-ABS
You eat more seeds than you eat birds.

In the first sentence, the bird has ergative case, meaning that the bird is an agent. In the second sentence, the word for birds has the absolutive case, meaning that the birds are a patient. If the sentence has no object, then both X and Y will have the absolutive case and the verb will have active intransitive voice. The Y argument will then be an agent. As an example:

P'ot'-a p'yowochya-tto-∅ öttöbüt kūjot totk'-a
2SG-ABS eat-ACT.INTR-HAB more than bird-ABS
You eat more than what birds do.

Purpose clauses

There are several ways in which purpose can be expressed in Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo. One way is to have the main event followed by the dependent event with the conjunction hukki between them.

Pot'-ak' kad-a p'ūjudakka-ng hukki p'-a ōno-tt-o sodak'yoya-ppo
1SG-ERG fish-ABS salt-PRES so.that it-ABS not-ACT.INTR-PAST get.bad-COND
I salt the fish so that it will not get bad.

If the two verbs have the same agent, the dependent verb can be turned into a simple infinitive with translative case. If the main verb is a verb of movement (such as go, come, etc.), then the dependent verb may alternatively be realized as an adverb infinitive. Both ways are exemplified in the following two sentences:

Pot'-ak' nūjug-a up-pa-k'p'o pingketti-dö pöttü-tt-ö
1SG-ERG food-ABS buy-ACT.ADV.INF-TRANSL market-ALL go-ACT.INTR-PAST
I went to the market to buy food.
Pot'-ak' nūjug-a upk'wa-∅-k'p'o pingketti-dö pöttü-tt-ö
1SG-ERG food-ABS buy-ACT.INF-TRANSL market-ALL go-ACT.INTR-PAST
I went to the market to buy food.

Another way is to have a noun (or deverbal noun) followed by the postposition rangk'ōt.

Reported speech

To report what someone else has said, the construction X-ERG V (ökkü) QUOTE is used, where X is the source of information, V is a verb like say, tell, etc. (in active voice; with tense, aspect and mood as appropriate), and QUOTE is an independent clause. If the report is in direct speech, the particle ökkü will be used. If the report is in indirect speech, ökkü is not used, and the deictic center in the quote is changed to that of the speaker.

Evidentiality

Evidentiality marking is not obligatory in Proto-Kunnu-lūjungo, but what kind of evidence one has for the truthfulness of a statement can be expressed with a pronoun in the genitive case, followed by one of three evidentiality verbs in the instructive infinitive form. The pronoun specifies who is claiming something to be true, and the verb specifies the type of evidence. This construction precedes the main verb (or auxiliary + main verb construction).

Evidentiality type Morphology
Inferential PRON t'yamchyōt
Reportative PRON kwetwüt
Direct knowledge (PRON) k'ofōk'ōt

The inferential means that the statement is something that has been witnessed, and reportative is used for hearsay evidence. The direct knowledge evidential is used about any other evidence, including non-visual sensory. The dirent knowledge evidential can also be used impersonally, which is marked by the absense of a pronoun. The impersonal direct knowledge can have the meaning "they say that..." without any clarifications of who "they" are, or it can have the meaning that something is supposed to be common knowledge, "anyone knows it". All second person evidentials are very seldomly used; usually they occur in questions and sometimes when arguing against someone who claims to not have known a certain thing. The second person singular pronoun can be, and is usually, replaced by the name of the adressee in genitive case.

P'oga-g-a pot'ya-t k'ofōk'-ōt ōno tōtk'yu-tto-∅
pig-PL-ABS 1SG-GEN know-INSTR.INF NEG fly-INTR-HAB
As far as I know, pigs don't fly.
Pot'ya-du mōllussan p'ot'ya-t kwet-wüt ōno-tto-ng udi-∅
1SG-ADE horse 2SG-GEN hear-INSTR.INF NEG-INTR-PRS be-INF
As you have heard, I do not have a horse.

Lexicon

San words

Some adjectives and some nouns ends with the suffix -(s)san or -(s)sen. In adjectives it is usually present because of word derivation. In nouns it may occur due to derivation, but sometimes it just does not have any specific meaning. In various kinds of suffixation, the san words usually inflect slightly differently than other words.

Compounds

In endocentric compounds, the head is the last word of the compound. All but the last words in a compound have the following characteristics:

  • Verbs can only appear in non-final forms
  • Nouns sometimes carry a case that the final word in the compound calls for. But nouns in some compounds have the genitive case for no particular reason.
  • The -(s)san or -(s)sen suffix is deleted.
  • Some words have a special compound form, see Derivation below.

Derivation

Affix Meaning Example
Verb → verb
ado-- Underdo X anglofutsocha - estimate → ado-anglofutsocha - under-estimate
hütwūt-- Redoing an action kōngk'utsa - tell → hütwūt-kōngk'utsa - renarrate
ōsya-- The opposite of the action p'ūjucha - let good things happen to others → ōsya-p'ūjucha - not let good things happen to others
p'ada-- Do X in secret kwettödi - listen → p'ada-kwettödi - eavesdrop
unno-- Miss doing X ap'sūja - shoot → unno-ap'sūja - shoot and miss
-mk'wa1
-mk'we1
Diminishes the intensity of an action, or makes it momentane kakp'utsa - look → kakp'umk'wa - glance
millūgūttö - bark → millūgūmk'we - bark once
Verb → noun
-bu Place where X is done (derived word often has num. clf. flat) t'yamk'ya - show → t'yamk'yabu - stage
-būp1 A simple deverbal noun, usually used about actions that take some time to complete (derived word often has num. clf. abstract) kōngk'utsa - tell → kōngk'ubūp - story
-1
-kwü1
Device that performs X kunglakka - substitute (V.) → kunglagō - substitute (N.)
ködūji - float → ködūkwü - floating device
-ha1
-he1
Doer of X (num. clf. people) kyot'sōya - bathe → kyot'sōha - bather
ihikködi - think → ihikköhe - thinker
-ofu
-öfu
Noun somehow related to the verb ok'yu - sprout → ok'ofu - spore
mönekkue - throw → mönekköfu - dump
-ot1
-öt1
Tool used for doing X kūt'kōna - traverse → kūt'kot - vehicle
swügutsöche - sting → swügutsöt - stinger
-ōt'pa
-wüt'pe
Result of verb (derived word often has num. clf. abstract) t'yamk'ya - show (V.) → t'yamk'ōt'pa - show (N.)
-pya1
-pye1
Default verb to noun derivation ōtyu - live → ōpya - life
kūjudi - die → kūjupye - death
-tk'u1 Deverbal noun which implies of some kind of large occurrence ūpkutsa - believe → ūpkutk'u - religion
-tta1
-tte1
Deverbal form of sound verb (derived word will have num. clf. abstract) mongt'ūtto - neigh → mongt'ūtta - neighing
millūgūttö - bark → millūgūtte - barking
-u Single instance of an act tōtk'yu - fly → tōtk'u - flight
Deverbal form of frequentative verbs tahokkadu - sort → tahokkadū - sorting
-ūjō1
-ūjwü1
Collective deverbal noun (derived word will have num. clf. collective) kūt'kōna - traverse → kūt'kūjō - procession
Verb → adjective
-ossan
-össen
Someone or something that does X, an action that spreads out over time k'ofōk'yu - know → k'ofōk'ossan - aware
See also Participles, which are the usual way verbs are turned into adjective-like words
Noun → verb
-kka
-kke
Default noun to verb derivation pwado - paint (N.) → pwadokka - paint (V.)
sillegi - patch (N.) → sillegikke - patch (V.)
-k'ye
-k'ya
Make into X, or add X kikku - roof → kikkuk'ye - add a roof to a building
k'aido - wind → k'aidok'ya - ventilate; fan
-k'yoya2
-k'yöye2
Become X pwa - earth → pwak'yoya - decompose
swe - tree → swek'yöye - become numb (literally "turn into wood")
-(ō)pk'wa
-(wü)pk'we
Hunt or collect something edible kada - fish (N.) → kadapk'wa - fish (V.)
sungkitti - carrot → sungkittipk'we - pick carrots
-utsocha
-utsöche
Do something using X rappanga - hammer (N.) → rappangutsocha - hammer (V.)
mefögi - sand (N.) → mefögutsöche - sand (V.)
Noun → noun
ada-- Bottom, low köngup - floor → ada-göngup - bottom floor
aip-- New kwe - moon → aip-kwe - new moon
allu-- Open, bare pōngo - sea → allu-bōngo - open sea
chūföt'-- Double (derived word will have num. clf. pair) ittup - portion → chūföt'-ittup - double portion
hyat'ko-- After kunglakkōt'pa - compensation → hyat'ko-gunglakkōt'pa - compensation afterwards
ingke-- Arch-X ronnadassan - enemy → ingke-lonnadassan - arch-enemy
kōpko-- Middle p'ungpo - finger → kōpko-p'ungpo - middle finger
kōt'k'a-- Yellow rüpk'üngüge - white wagtail → kōt'k'a-rüpk'üngüge - yellow wagtail
kutk'yunga-- Opposing force k'aido - wind → kutk'yunga-k'aido - headwind
k'aga-- Back ullo - door → k'aga-ullo - back door
k'ōgu-- Artificial p'yu - reason → k'ōgu-p'yu - pretext
k'yayop-- Full kwe - moon → k'yayop-kwe - full moon
mūjessū-- Top p'ūjungapk'yabūp - performance → mūjessū-p'ūjungapk'yabūp - top performance
nūpku-- Brown tōmk'o - leaf → nūpku-dōmk'o - brown autumn leaf
ogo-- Forever k'at'lo - winter → ogo-k'at'lo → neverending winter
okp'ō-- Self sökku - betrayal → okp'ō-zökku - self-deception
ōkkū-- Front hat'kak - legs → ōkkū-hat'kak - forelegs
ōk'ya-- Remote
ōppo-- Front, first pöngke - sign → ōppo-böngke - (good) example
ōtp'o-- Debute kōngk'a - time → ōtp'o-gōngk'a - first time
ōshk'yunga-- Extra t'yamk'ōt'pa - show → ōshk'yunga-t'yamk'ōt'pa - encore
ōzhu-- Outer p'ollū - side → ōzhu-p'ollū - outside
pūpk'a-- Black pigingi - sausage → pūpk'a-bigingi - black sausage
p'ada-- Secret pūngma - murder → p'ada-būngma - assassination
p'aing-- Large sōngmō - family → p'aing-sōngmō - large family
p'ollū-- Side hugo - river → p'ollū-hugo - tributary
p'op'ya-- Inner ōdot - organ → p'op'ya-ōdot - inner organ
p'otto-- Blue syonyupk'wo - tail → p'otto-syonyupk'wo - red-flanked bluetail
p'yonghya-- Back, remote p'ōnūkkū - area → p'yonghya-p'ōnūkkū - place in the sticks
radō-- Fake appū - dress → radō-appū - disguise
ranga-- Precaution, spare uppa - part → ranga-uppa - spare part
rat'ku-- White mallo - shark → rat'ku-mallo - great white shark
ronnōng-- Green kaplofu - plant → ronnōng-kaplofu - flowerless plant with leaves
segū-- Small (num. clf. small) nūjuga - food → segū-nūjuga - snack
sōngūp-- Basic k'ofōk'u - knowledge → sōngūp-k'ofōk'u - basic knowledge
sutyo-- Many k'ofōha - sage → sutyo-k'ofōha - polymath
sūjudo-- Half kwe - moon → sūjudo-kwe - half-moon
sūtta-- Red notk'a - chest → sūtta-notk'a - robin
sya-- Head, important killūssigu - city → sya-gillūssigu - capital
tyanno-- Near k'ūllaip - future → tyanno-k'ūllaip - near future
ūp'so-- Closed p'ūjudo - intestine → ūp'so-p'ūjudo - appendix
yotya-- Upper, top sūjudo - half → yotya-zūjudo - topside
-da
-de
Place associated with X (derived word often has num. clf. flat) jōttu - agricultural people → jōttuda - cultivated land
-dallossan
-dellössen
Person from X (num. clf. people) Kunnu-lūjungo - Kunnu-lūjungo → Kunnu-lūjungodallossan - Kunnu-lūjungoan
mönekköfu - dump → mönekköfudellössen - person living in a dump
-gi
-gu
Diminutive form (derived word often has num. clf. small or round) sungkitti - carrot → sungkittigi - small carrot
tap'so - pond → tap'sogu - puddle
-
-kwü
Small thing with Xs (derived word often has num. clf. small or round) p'ūjuda - salt → p'ūjudagō - food preserved by salting
sede - pipe → sedekwü - hemp-nettle
-gu Place with lots of Xs, collective X, or something associated with X (num. clf. collective) zap'zū - bamboo → zap'zūgu - bamboo thicket
-(k)kang
-(k)keng
Female X (num. clf. people) p'atkango - hero → p'atkangokkang - heroine
sisse - priest → sissekkeng - priestess
-(ō)ngo
-(wü)ngö
Tool or person (num. clf. people) that uses X t'waba - face → t'wabango - mask
tillūkki - raft → tillūkkingö - ferry man
-ofu
-öfu
Thing with Xs uppa - part → uppofu - share
-(o)pk'u
-(ö)pk'u
Place with collection of X (derived word will have num. clf. collective) t'wassūngo - neighbor → t'wassūngopk'u - neighborhood
-(o)tku
-(ö)tku
Natural features that is like X k'appō - plane → k'appōtku - plain
Noun → adjective
ap'zo--NOUN-ossan Both kyappo - hand → ap'zo-kyappossan - ambi-dextrous
sutyo--NOUN-X3 Many allofu - marriage → sutyo-allofossan - polygamistic
-ballossan
-bellössen
Resembling X kada - fish → kadaballossan - fishlike
k'wik'wö - girl → k'wik'wöbellössen - girly
-dessen
-dassan
X-like, endowed with X, time, or measure set'kū - dot → set'kūdessen - dotted
kutsūnga - cupped hand → kutsūngadassan - handful
-dutsessen
-dutsassan
Often X-like millūgūtte - barking → millūgūttedutsessen - often barking
-gap
-gep
Equipped with X mūjudo - worry → mūjudogap - worried
kūttefi - honor → kūttefigep - honorable
-kkut Lacking X swe - tree → swekkut - treeless
-oppa
-öppe
Something that produces X p'akku - harvest → p'akkoppa - bountyful harvest
k'izu - kill (N.) → k'izöppe - someone with many kills
-ossan
-össen
Regular noun to adjective derivation odu - joy → odossan - happy
mefögi - sand → mefögössen - sandy
-zok'ossan (-sok'ossan)
-zök'össen (-sök'össen)
Something that contains a substance kūt'k'a - gold → kūt'k'azok'ossan - something (e.g. a river) that contains gold
mefögi - sand → mefögizök'össen - something (e.g. mud) that contains sand
-ssan
-ssen
Made from X kūt'k'a - gold → kūt'k'assan - golden
swe - tree → swessen - wooden
Noun → adverb
-ekkillet
-akkullat
From an X point of view Kunnu-lūjungodallossan - Kunnu-lūjungoan → Kunnu-lūjungodallakkullat - from a Kunnu-lūjungoan's point of view
-gillet
-gullat
Locative situative adverb (involving two things in relation to each other) kaplu - face → kaplugullat - face-to-face
t'ūngki - corner → t'ūngkigillet - corner-to-corner
-(k)killet
-(k)kullat
Manner or position p'ollū - side → p'ollūkkullat - sideways
tönegebūp - play → tönegekkillet - not seriously
Adjective → verb
-∅ Be X sūttallossan - red → sūttallossan - be red
tübet → tübet - be warm
-(p)k'wa
-(p)k'we
Make into X sūttallossan - red → sūttallopk'wa - make red
tübet - warm → tübetk'we - warmen
Adjective → noun
-∅ Person with X quality nogap - rich → nogap - rich person
-aip
-ip
The X quality sūttallossan - red → sūttallaip - redness
tübet - warm → tübedip - warmth
-ūngo
-ūngö
Person who is being X tallopka - lazy → tallopkūngo - lazy person
Adjective → adjective
kutk'yunga-- Opposing force k'ūjulla - productive → kutk'yunga-k'ūjulla - counter-productive
ogo-- Forever zhūngūjo - old → ogo-zhūngūjo → really, really old
okp'ō-- Self k'ūnnoppa - destructive → okp'ō-k'ūnnoppa - self-destructive
ryamya-- Little tūbossan - snowy → ryamya-dūbossan - something has only little snow
tyasso-- Thoroughly ryangokkak'p'o k'ūttūk - dyed → tyasso-lyangokkak'p'o k'ūttūk - thoroughly dyed
ūp'so-- Completely myūdū - crazy → ūp'so-myūdū - absolutely crazy
-dutsessen
-dutsassan
Someone or something that is often X-like mochap - slow → mochaptutsassan - often slow
nege - broken → negedutsessen - often broken
-mku2 Diminishes the quality mochap - slow → mochamku - slowish
-ossan
-össen4
Tendency to be like X (only used on present participles) k'allossūlla - bending → k'allossūllossan - flexible
negefak'p'ö k'ūlle - getting broken → negefak'p'ö k'ūllössen - fragile
-ōsya
-wüsye
Opposite quality p'ōt'lya - clear → p'ōt'lōsya - unclear
tūjutk'udessen - natural → tūjutk'utwüsye - unnatural
Adjective → adverb
-pk'o5
-pk'ö5
Regular adjective to adverb derivation mochap - slow → mochapk'o - slowly
tūjutk'udessen - natural → tūjutk'udessepk'ö - naturally
Numeral → noun
-ofu
-öfu
Shape with X number of sides (2D or 3D) kut'pō - three → kut'pofu - triangle
kwibösen - ten → *kwibösofu6 - decagon
Numeral → adverb
-ekkillet
-akkullat
Xs of p'akka - one hundred → p'akkakkullat - hundreds of
kwibössen - ten → kwibössekkillet - tens of

1The last syllable is deleted before this suffix is added, unless the last syllable consisted of a monosyllabic derivational suffix.
2This suffix deletes any final consonant of the word stem. A final -san/-sen becomes -samku/-semku.
3The X stands for any derivational suffix that turns a noun into an adjective. 4In case of past or present passive participles, this suffix is added to the auxiliary verb.
5This suffix deleted any final consonant of the word stem. A final -san/-sen becomes -sapk'o/-sepk'ö.
6Theoretical word.